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  1. [caption width="640"] Cate Hall beat Mike Dentale 2-0 in their best of three grudge match Sunday at SugarHouse Casino(Photo Courtesy Jeff Shurilla/PNIA)[/caption] It was billed as the ‘Twitter feud heard round the world … of poker’ and on Sunday afternoon at SugarHouse Casino in Philadelphia, Cate Hall and Mike Dentale added another chapter to their ongoing rivalry. Hall defeated Dentale 2-0 in the best-of-three $15,000 heads-up freezeouts in a little over 3.5 hours. The match was live streamed on Poker Night in America’s Twitch channel and drew almost 12,000 viewers at its peak and was the most watched poker stream of the day. Things got serious on the very first hand of play. Hall raised to 400 from the button with [poker card="ts"][poker card="8s"] and Dentale called with [poker card="qs"][poker card="5h"]. The [poker card="8d"][poker card="8c"][poker card="7s"] flop put Hall firmly ahead and Dentale check-called her 500 bet. The [poker card="2h"] hit the turn and Dentale lead out for 1,000 and Hall called. The river was the [poker card="qd"] and Dentale bet 2,000 and Hall called and tabled the winner to take down a 7,800 pot. The next decent-sized pot began with Hall on the button. Hall raised to 400 from the button with [poker card="ac"][poker card="4c"] and Dentale defended with [poker card="8d"][poker card="7c"]. Both players checked the [poker card="ah"][poker card="td"][poker card="2C"] flop to see the [poker card="8s"] turn. Dentale check-called Hall’s 500 bet. The river was the [poker card="2d"] and Dentale checked, allowing Hall to bet 900. Dentale took nearly 90 seconds before calling and losing the hand to drop to 7,375. Over the next half hour Dentale worked his stack back up to a high of 10,200 before finding a big pot of his own to win. Hall called from the button with [poker card="js"][poker card="9s"] before Dentale raised to 1,200 with [poker card="ac"][poker card="kd"]. After the [poker card="9d"][poker card="5d"][poker card="2c"] flop, Dentale bet 1,000 and Hall called. The turn was the [poker card="td"] and Dentale fired 1,500 into the pot and Hall folded.That 5,900 win gave Dentale a stack of 11,650. Just 15 minutes later Dentale got close to even by taking down a 4,800 pot. Hall raised to 400 from the button with [poker card="9s"][poker card="7c"] and Dentale called with [poker card="kd"][poker card="td"]. After the [poker card="th"][poker card="8s"][poker card="4c"] flop Dentale check-raised Hall’s bet of 400 to 1,000. Hall called. The turn was the [poker card="4s"] and Dentale lead out for 1,000. Hall called again. The river was the [poker card="3s"] and Dentale bet 1,500, forcing Hall to fold. Over the course of the next hour Hall regained momentum and the nearly 2-1 chip lead. it took her just 15 more minutes to end the first match. With Dentale down to just 3,000, Hall moved all in with [poker card="ad"][poker card="9h"] and Dentale called with [poker card="qc"][poker card="5d"]. The board ran out [poker card="9s"][poker card="5c"][poker card="3s"][poker card="4c"][poker card="jd"] to give the first match to Hall. The second match started off with the same sort of fireworks that the first one did. Dentale raised his button to 400 with [poker card="5c"][poker card="5d"] and Hall called with [poker card="8s"][poker card="4h"]. Dentale bet 700 after the [poker card="7s"][poker card="2s"][poker card="2c"] flop before Hall raised to 2,100. Dentale tanked for 3.5 minutes before folding. Hall quickly built up a 2-1 chip lead and never gave up the lead again. After 40 minutes of play, Hall had a 5-1 chip lead before Dentale found himself a double-up. Hall called from the button with [poker card="5h"][poker card="2c"] and Dentale checked his option with [poker card="4d"][poker card="3c"]. Dentale check-called Hall’s bet of 300 after the [poker card="5c"][poker card="4h"][poker card="2h"] flop. Dentale checked the [poker card="ac"] turn, Hall bet 900 and Dentale moved all in for 3,400. Hall tank-called and watched the [poker card="tc"] turn give Dentale a full double to 7,700. Dentale’s stack fell to just over 5,000 before the final hand of the night. Hall raised to 300 from the button with [poker card="kc"][poker card="kd"] and Dentale defended with [poker card="ac"][poker card="2s"]. The flop came [poker card="as"][poker card="kd"][poker card="5s"], Hall bet 400 and Dentale called. The turn was the [poker card="8h"], Hall bet 1,300, Dentale moved all in for 4,325 and Hall called. The river was a [poker card="kh"] to give Hall quads and the second match to sweep and earn $30,000. After the match Hall had some fun, tweeting that she might be looking for her next opponent.
  2. [caption width="640"] The rise and fall of the 'Hashtag King' is a WTF Moment in itself and one scene, in particular, stood out in the Salomon Ponte tragedy[/caption] As the final days of 2017 slowly tick by, it's time to take a look back at the year in poker. Over the last 10 days of the year, PocketFives is taking readers on a trip back in time to recap the last 12 months in a fun and unique way. To date we've gone over the top five off-the-felt news stories of 2017, the top heaters of the year, covered the game's newest characters, breakout stars and grudges. Now it's time to get weird with the top WTF Moments of 2017. #5 Leon Tsoukernik 'plays his own money' It wouldn’t be a year full of WTF Moments without an iconic quote thrown in. When Super High Roller Bowl live streamed on PokerGO in May, Leon Tsoukernik was the talk of the event for his playing style and table talk. The chat peaked when Tsoukernik took the verbal warfare to the chest of Jason Koon. The two exchanged verbal blows during a crucial part of the tournament with Tsoukernik boasting about his own wealth and the perceived lack of poker pros keeping their own action in a high buy-in event. “I play my own money” catapulted Tsoukernik to a polarizing status of antihero among the poker community. The moment lit up social media and became a catch-phrase for the entire summer. You either loved or hated Tsoukernik’s brash attitude as he gambled his way to a fourth-place finish. His legal troubles aside, Tsoukernik livens up the action when he plays and it will be interesting to see how many appearances he makes in 2018. #4 Salomon Ponte Tries to Sell his Watch Speaking of insane live stream moments, Salomon Ponte put a high bar in place with his antics on Poker Night in America this April. Already a villain in the poker world, Ponte took this live streamed cash game to an unparalleled low when PNIA visited Choctaw. Ponte’s dismal financial status became apparent during the show when, in an effort to accumulate $2,000, he tried with to no avail to pawn off his watches and passport to the rest of the table. The ‘Hashtag King’ quickly turned into a pauper in front of a viewing audience of thousands and the jig on his bit was finally up. Adding to a great year in quotes, Ponte’s “waiting on a wire” line is recycled to this day on Twitter, long after its originator managed to get banned from the site on numerous occasions. #3 Chris Ferguson and Howard Lederer enter Tag Team event Chris Ferguson and Howard Lederer made their return to the World Series of Poker in 2016 but added a new level of infamy to their second act of poker this year. The two faces of the Full Tilt Poker scandal made their formal entrance to this summer’s WSOP by joining together in the Tag Team event. Joining them was former FTP Red Pro and friend, Andy Bloch. The pair have been mostly quiet regarding their past, particularly Ferguson, and showed no qualms in being among the public who primarily despises them. Multiple social media reports of the two playing together were met with scorn and some laughter at the troll. Seemingly everyone got their say in on this matter and the poker community rallied around Schwartz as Kweli continued to levy allegations of racism. Schwartz is one of the best tweeters in the whole poker world and Kweli met his match in what was the WTF Moment of the year.
  3. If you're in the United States, then you might know that Sunday was the premiere of "Poker Night in America" on the CBS Sports Network. Showcasing poker celebrities on and off the felt, two 30-minute episodes of the show aired starting at 10:00pm Eastern Time. This author fired up his DVR to watch and had a mixed reaction. Then, it was on to catch up with "24." --- PocketFives' news coverage is brought to you by Betsafe, one of the leading suppliers of online gaming products worldwide and a major sponsor of Gumball 3000. Sign up now for great bonuses, €3,000,000 guaranteed monthly, and plenty of live events! --- Chris Hanson (the radio host, not the one who busts pedophiles) is the host of "Poker Night in America," whose first installment emanated from Turning Stone in New York. Hanson told viewers, "We're not just going to show you hand after hand of poker. We're going to take you beyond the felt." Accordingly, the show began with Executive Producer Todd Anderson flying a dozen pros from Las Vegas to New York to play in a $25/$50 cash game. Two players canceled by 6:00am, while the last person to show up, one minute before a private jet took off from the Nevada desert, was Gavin Smith, who rolled up in a motorcycle. Plenty of Chinese Poker was played on the ride to New York, with Mike Matusow (pictured) saying he lost $10,000 on the cross-country trek. Fast-forward to the group's arrival at Turning Stone, where a draft for two cash game heats began. Former PokerNews reporter Kristy Arnett and comedy writer Lauren Billings were the two captains and former World Series of Poker Player of the Year Tom Schneider was picked first, while David "ODB" Baker was picked last. Schneider was wearing a neon-colored blazer and hat reminiscent of the color scheme in a glow-in-the-dark mini golf course. The final 45 minutes of Sunday's episodes centered on a $25/$50 cash game with a $5,000 minimum buy-in and a $100 optional straddle. There were only a handful of pots that got bigger than a few thousand dollars, including one early on that saw Arnett call all-in before the flop with Q-Q against Matusow's A-K. "The Mouth" scooped a $10,000 pot after making a full house to win the coin flip and Arnett bought back in. Arnett had been on an open casting call in order to make it on "Poker Night in America" and told viewers, "I have looked up to these players for a long time." The second 30-minute episode was largely more cash game hands. Information about players and about ongoing conversations and references popped up on the screen like in VH1's "Pop Up Video" and 2009 WSOP Main Event runner-up Darvin Moon (pictured) randomly stopped in toward the end of the show. "Poker Night in America" teased in an on-screen graphic that Moon and that year's Main Event champion, Joe Cada, would be reunited for the first time since the "Big Dance" later in the season. We would have liked to see a lot more of the away-from-the-felt activities rather than small-ish cash game hands, comparatively speaking. We've been spoiled by shows like "High Stakes Poker" and "Poker After Dark" that featured much richer poker and, unless you really like listening to pros banter back and forth, we're not sure how much utility you're going to get out of the cash game portion of "Poker Night in America." Next week, the group goes golfing, so we have lofty expectations for that segment. Judge for yourself by tuning into the show on Sundays at 10:00pm Eastern Time on the CBS Sports Network. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  4. It’s finally official. The weeks of rumors have finally been put to rest as PokerStars is scheduled to put their platform to the real money test on Monday, November 4 and will become the first online operator to offer online poker in Pennsylvania. For PokerStars, the soft launch testing period should take two days before it is officially approved. Once it is, poker players in the Keystone State can get back to their online grind. For a little while at least, PokerStars will be the only operator in Pennsylvania. However, it is just a matter of time before they have competition for the nearly 13 million potential players in PA. Here's a look at the online poker operators that could be next to join PokerStars in the Pennsylvania market. [ptable zone="NJ Online Poker Promos"][ptable zone="888poker"][ptable zone="Global Poker Article Ad"] WSOP.com One of the most obvious choices to do battle with PokerStars is Caesars Entertainment’s online arm of the World Series of Poker, WSOP.com. Currently the leading online poker room in New Jersey, WSOP.com is powered by 888 software and partnered with Harrah’s Philadelphia, another property of Caesars. World Series of Poker officials have remained tight-lipped about their plans on entering Pennsylvania. When they do, it should only be a two-day testing process for them based on the fact that they already have up-and-running online sites elsewhere in the U.S. WSOP.com would bring a number of exciting opportunities for players in Pennsylvania. Undoubtedly, the ability to satellite into live World Series of Poker bracelet events would be a significant draw, especially in the summer months leading up to the Main Event. In addition to their satellites, WSOP.com offers its own online poker series with big guarantees including seasonal Online Championships as well as Online Circuit Events where players can win an actual ring. Party Poker partypoker’s parent company, GVC, has a deal in place with Valley Forge Casino Resort that would bring the well-known poker brand to PA. Like WSOP.com, partypoker already has a presence in New Jersey, where it shares a player pool with BorgataPoker.com and BetMGM.com. This means that whenever they decide to schedule a soft launch period, it too will only require two days of testing. Going live in Pennsylvania looks to be a piece to a larger puzzle for partypoker. Earlier this year, the Nevada Gaming Commission approved partypoker for an online poker license in Nevada. Currently, there is only one operator in Nevada, WSOP.com. The low population of three million makes it tough for the market to support multiple online poker sites. If partypoker has its sights set on taking over the #1 spot in the U.S. they would need to leverage the same multi-state compact that bolstered WSOP.com. At the same time, they will be looking forward to a time when Pennsylvania may also join the states that have legalized and regulated online poker. Dark Horses partypoker and WSOP.com are two of the most recognizable brands in poker today. But inside the state of Pennsylvania, there are some very popular poker entities that could decide to enter the market. Parx Casino is well-known for its massive Big Stax tournaments and large live poker room. They have also paid the steep $10 million fee to be able to offer online gaming. They are already offering sports betting and online casino games. Should the market warrant it, Parx could leverage their brand to expand into online poker. Rush Street Gaming is the owners of SugarHouse and their interactive arm could bring online poker to PA. Rush Street is already well-known in the poker scene with its televised live cash game Poker Night In America.
  5. [caption width="640"] After three months of waiting, Mike Dentale and Cate Hall are ready to battle at SugarHouse Casino. (PokerNight photo)[/caption] It was the hand heard ’round social media. On Day 3 of theWorld Poker Tour Five Diamond Classic in December, Cate Hallcalled Barry Hutter’s six-bet shove with [poker card="ac"][poker card="ts"] and the hand was soon the talk of Twitter. Hall attempted to get in front of the firestorm that she assumed would follow but could not firmly batten down the hatches against the mob questioning her play. New Yorker Mike Dentale was the loudest and most outspoken of that mob. Well-known on the East Coast as a cash game and tournament regular, along with his brash personality, Dentale is never one to shy away from speaking his mind. Through a series of tweets that grew in animosity with each 140 characters, Dentale and Hall’s feud reached a boiling point and they agreed to play heads up against each other to settle their dispute once and for all. The combatants were in place but they needed an arena. Luckily for Dentale and Hall, Poker Night in America and SugarHouse Casino agreed to host the match and broadcast it live on Twitch starting this Sunday, March 19 starting at 3:00 pm EST. It didn’t take much prodding on Poker Night in America’s part to take on duties as Rush Street Gaming’s Matt Glantz was more than willing to do what was necessary to finalize the details and provide a scene for one of the most anticipated matches in poker history. “Once I saw Cate and Mike going at it on Twitter and challenging each other to heads up, I jumped on the opportunity so that we could make this ‘Grudge Match’ a Poker Night in America production. SugarHouse Casino in Philadelphia is the perfect location for the match. It is directly in between where Mike and Cate reside,” said Glantz. The pair have agreed to play a best-of-three series of Sit N Gos freezeouts. Each player start withs $15,000 cash and blinds will be $75/$150 for the duration of each match. Shaun Deeb and Doug Polk are teaming up to provide commentary for the live stream. There have been many “made for TV” confrontations across the sporting world but what separates this match, according to Glantz, is the authentic hostility between the two players. “There is real animosity between these two. This is not manufactured dislike in any way. These are two polar opposites. Cate is a highly-educated, liberal-minded, math-based poker player, who is relatively new to the scene. Mike is an extremely street-smart, conservative-minded, feel-based player, who has been around poker for twenty-plus years.” Dentale and Hall haven’t been shy about hiding their hate for each other. In a recent interview, Dentale went as far as to refer to Hall as a “phony bitch” while Hall described Dentale as a “really bad person [who is] a pathological liar and a cheat,” and noted that there is “nothing redeeming about him.” Both players feel they are superior to the other and are confident about their respective edge. “I think I have an edge because I’m a better poker player than him. I think I will be able to adjust in-game better than him. On both a fundamental level and live level, I feel like I have a big advantage,” said Hall. “I have a hard time believing he is beating tournaments with relatively high buy-ins or $2/$5. Just because someone has been around for a few years doesn’t mean they’re good,” said Hall. When faced with a similar question about his opponent’s playing abilities, Dentale responded with, “Any skilled veteran player can see that she’s a bad player. She always tries to not take responsibility for her bad play. I’ve played with her in three WPTs and found her incredibly novice. She has no clue. I firmly believe in my heart she doesn’t have the experience to beat me. There are certain things you need time to learn.” As for the preparation that each player has gone through prior to the match, both Dentale and Hall have not received formal coaching, but Hall has done the diligence of researching heads up play. Dentale, on the other hand, believes his many years of poker experience will be more than enough to overcome Hall. “No matter what she does, I’m going to put a lot of veteran pressure on her. I have very good hand reading ability,” said Dentale. Hall says she considered coaching but when she weighed the cost of hiring one versus the increase in expected value, she decided studying on her own would suffice. “Given a sample size of a few hundred hands against someone with major holes in their game, I felt I could get myself to 90 percent to where a coach would get me.” Regardless of who wins the match, Dentale and Hall both think that their play will speak volumes in determining who is the better player. They admit the variance in heads up play is too large to where the purest of results will take form, but each player wants to prove to the audience watching of their superiority. “I think that what I’ve tried to focus on and get mentally prepared for is, assuming many people are watching, is I want it to be apparent to people that I am playing better than him, if that is the case, it won’t be hard to acknowledge,” said Hall. The build-up to the match has been like no other and the three months of verbal warfare will be replaced by chips this Sunday inside SugarHouse Casino. Glantz notes that this is “uncharted territory” in the realm of live-streamed poker but he is hoping that the match is able to “capture the interest of the majority of the poker community.” The audience and social media chatter will be abuzz on March 19 and if Dentale and Hall have proved nothing else, the poker world is in for a one of a kind experience.
  6. [caption width="640"] Matt Glantz will work with Rush Street Gaming and Poker Night in America[/caption] Matt Glantzhas inked a deal with casino operator Rush Street Gaming to develop the company’s portfolio of full-service poker rooms in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and New York. In addition, the Keystone State-native will serve as a producer and talent manager for the brand’s Poker Night in America TV and web series. Glantz, a well-known figure in the northeastern poker scene, previously served as the poker ambassador to Parx Casino, helping to turn the card room there into a nationally known brand in less than three years. He now hopes to leverage his experience as a professional poker player and consultant to do the same for Rush Street’s Sugarhouse Casino in Philadelphia, Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh and the upcoming Rivers Casino in Schenectady, New York, slated to open in 2017. Glantz will focus much of his time on promoting SugarHouse’s new poker room, set to open at the beginning of February. Glantz called Philadelphia “the most competitive poker market in the industry,” noting that players can take their pick from a long list of poker rooms like those at Harrahs, Sands Bethlehem, Parx and Borgata, all within a 60 mile radius. The new poker room will be part of SugarHouse’s $164 million expansion and will feature close to 30 poker tables. Glantz described the soon-to-open card room as “absolutely beautiful,” and said that the venue had several exciting announcements in store for its poker players, some of which will be made soon. Above all, the 44-year-old poker pro wants to ensure that the card rooms under the Rush Street umbrella are as player-friendly as possible. Glantz has achieved great success at the tables throughout his poker career, boasting six major tournament titles and over $6 million in live tournament winnings. With his experience working in different facets of the poker industry, Glantz is in a unique position to bring about changes which will enhance the experience for Rush Street’s poker savvy customers. “Rush Street Gaming strives to offer the best poker experience for every type of player, from casual gamers to high-stakes players like Matt,” said Rush Street CEO Greg Carlin. “We’re excited to have Matt on our team to further improve our poker platform.” Glantz also expressed his excitement in his new role as producer and event manager for Poker Night in America, a CBS Sports Network TV series which features players at tournaments and cash games across the US. One of the goals of the show has been to revive mainstream interest in the game by capturing some of the poker world’s most interesting personalities. “I’m looking forward to joining the Rush Street team and working to enhance the Rush Street Gaming poker experience,” said Glantz.
  7. [caption width="640"] Joe Stapleton is taking his talents to Poker Night in America[/caption] Fresh off his live appearance on Twitch during the inaugural Global Poker League draft, poker industry personality Joe Stapleton has landed a gig as co-commentator of CBS Sports Networks’s TV program Poker Night in America. Stapleton, known for his quick wit and self-deprecating humor, joins poker TV veteran Chris Hanson, who announced the first 100 episodes solo, to form an engaging two-man team. "I’m thrilled to be back doing poker on TV in the States, and especially on a show like Poker Night in America," said Stapleton. "The team there really seems to understand how important it is to focus on the fun, social aspects of the game. Everyone always seemed to be having a blast the first three seasons, and I’m pretty excited to get in on that." Stapleton has years of experience providing color commentary in poker events and has worked with the European Poker Tour and PokerStars Big Game. "We can’t wait to get Joe up and running," said Rush Street Productions President Todd Anderson. "I’ve been a fan of his for many years and think he will be a very entertaining addition to the program." Poker Night in America, which broadcast its first episode in June 2014, travels the country and puts together invite-only games with some of poker’s most entertaining characters. The show has featured poker legends like Phil Laak, Daniel Negreanu and Phil Hellmuth and has drawn mainstream celebrities like actors James Woods and Jennifer Tilly. The producers’ goal has been to revive interest in the game by making it more appealing to casual players. Weaving narratives and storylines behind players is one way the program has tried to achieve that goal. "We are constantly looking at ways to evolve as a television show and ratchet up the production," continued Anderson. "Since day one, we’ve been trying to produce a unique poker TV experience and adding Joe is another step in that direction." Stapleton isn’t the only well-known poker personality plucked for the Poker Night team. Rush Street Productions also recently signed respected poker pro Matt Glantz, who will work as a producer, rounding up top talent to appear on the program. "I have been watching Joe Stapleton for years in all forms of poker media. Joe is a poker media icon,” said Glantz. “I’m positive he will take Poker Night in America to that next level." Rush Street is highly involved with poker and operates several standout poker rooms and casinos in the Northeast, including Sugarhouse Casino in Philadelphia, Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh, and an upcoming Rivers Casino in New York slated to open in 2017. Stapleton begins his new commentating gig starting the first week of April, appearing on episodes filmed at Rivers and Sugarhouse, then traveling to an event at Choctaw Casino in Oklahoma.
  8. In a recent segment on "Poker Night in America," Nolan Dalla (pictured) did what only Nolan Dalla is capable of doing. The show's creative director recently took the hammer to World Series of Poker One Drop champion Dan Colman, who has called poker a "very dark game" and "a distraction" despite winning over $22 million from live tournaments this year, according to the Hendon Mob. He ducked reporters following the One Drop, similar to Phil Ivey in 2009. "Is he right? I don't think so," Dalla said in a one-minute clip. "How does a man who has won $21 million in three tournaments the last four or five months say poker is bad? Are you kidding me? Seriously? Is that what you're saying? Poker is bad?" Colman has been on the run of a lifetime in 2014, winning the World Series of Poker's Big One for One Drop for $15.3 million just two months removed from taking down the EPT Monte Carlo Super High Roller Event for $2.1 million. He finished second in the EPT Barcelona Super High Roller Event for $1.1 million and, the same month, won the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open Main Event for another $1.4 million. He just won the WPT Alpha8 tournament in London. Dalla told viewers that poker "has provided a person that's 23 years old with a chance to be here. I've never heard of this guy and he's winning $21 million. That's more than anyone in the NFL, the NHL, the NBA, or Major League Baseball. $21 million in, what, four months, and he's saying poker is bad? Give me some bad! Give me some of that horrible tragedy! If poker's awful, I'll take it. Give me this awful situation called poker. I'll take it, Daniel Colman, if you don't want it. I will." Keep in mind that Dalla was screaming at the top of his lungs and using emphatic hand motions like only Nolan Dalla can, so we'd take this as less of a criticism than it might read. Nevertheless, we want your feedback! Did you watch the "Poker Night in America" episode? What did you think of Dalla's spirited rant? Let us know by commenting here.
  9. It was nearly a generation ago when there was a deep divide between ‘online’ players and their ‘live pro’ counterparts. Nowadays, just about everyone who knows about the game of poker realizes that, for those that afforded the ability to play online poker, the online and live games complement each other more than ever. While PA online poker players continue to wait for their state-regulated poker sites to launch, there are still a number of options to get in some check-raising and three-betting in the Keystone State. One caveat though, you're going to have to put on pants. Harrah’s Philadephia Located in Chester, PA on the Delaware River waterfront, the spacious 28-table poker room of Harrah’s Philadelphia is noted as the only World Series of Poker-branded room in the state of Pennsylvania. With so many tables, the room often spreads games according to the desires of the players. Standard games include No Limit games starting at $1/3 and $2/5 blinds with the occasional larger $5/10 game being spread. Player bonuses include High Hand, Hot Seat and Bad Beat Jackpot promotions. Basically, Harrah’s Philadelphia is a full-service card room giving most grinders everything they are looking for in a cash game. They also offer daily tournaments. The casino has, in the past, been the site for WSOP Circuit stops with players like Phillip Hui and Kyle Bowker winning circuit rings back in 2014. With Harrah’s Philadelphia being owned by Caesars Interactive Entertainment, the provider of the WSOP.com network in both Nevada and New Jersey, it’s very likely that players in PA will, at some point, have the opportunity to join their larger network of shared liquidity. Once players can compete on WSOP.com, it opens the door for the WSOP to add Philadelphia back into their live schedule as well. Parx Casino Just northeast of Philadelphia, Parx Casino is known as one of the East Coast’s largest poker rooms with 48 poker tables and a full slate of poker tournaments that keeps grinders in action year-round. One of the benefits of having so many tables is the ability to offer a variety of games. Of course, both Limit and No Limit Hold’em are regularly spread with Limit games starting at $4/8 and playing as high as $150/$300. No Limit also starts small at $1/2 and will sometimes run as high as $10/25. Additional cash games include regularly spread Pot Limit Omaha as well as a variety of Mixed Games. Like other larger rooms, Parx has a progressive Bad Beat Jackpot that often sits in the six-figure range. Parx is also known for its tournaments. While they offer regularly run daily tournaments, the room is more well known for their ‘Big Stax’ series. The series is run roughly four times a year and for the past three, they have partnered with the World Poker Tour DeepStacks tour once a year. In May, Dominick Sannino took down the $1,600 WPTDeepStacks Main Event at Parx for over $116,000. Parx Casino has plans to launch its online casino on July 15, with online poker to be added at a later time. They have a partnership with GAN and Kambi that will allow them to build out an online arm of their popular live card room. SugarHouse Casino Home to ‘Poker Night In America’ another major player in Philadelphia’s live poker scene is Rush Street Gaming's SugarHouse Casino. Like Parx and Harrah’s, SugarHouse has space to spread a wide variety of cash games and tournaments in their 28-table card room. Typical cash games include low-limit ($1/2) No Limit Hold’em scaling up to $2/5/10 with a $3,000 max buy-in. Both High Hand and Bad Beat promotions are also in play at SugarHouse. SugarHouse offers tournaments four days a week with an occasional four-day tournament challenge (SugarRush Challenge) which are multi-flight tournaments offering big prize pools for smaller buy-ins. Though it’s been a number of years since holding a tour stop in Philadelphia, the last time PNIA was there they held their King of the Hill 3 heads up battle where Daniel Coleman won $200,000 and still currently sits as the casino’s All-Time Money List leader. SugarHouse’s own parent company, Rush Street Gaming - the producers of Poker Night In America - will be proving the technology for SugarHouse to provide online poker. Rivers Casino - Pittsburgh Those living in the Steel City have a large poker room to enjoy at the Rivers Casino located along the Ohio River. The room features 30 poker tables that offer cash games in multiple variants including NLHE, Pot Limit Omaha and Omaha Hi/Lo with daily High Hand promotions. When it comes to tournaments, Rivers regularly offers two daily tournaments at smaller buy-ins and then they also welcome larger tours to their room, including the World Poker Tour DeepStacks Pittsburgh stop. 316 players registered for the most recent WPT DeepStacks Main Event in April when Erik Lemaquand took home the title and $66,593. Like SugarHouse in Philadelphia, Rivers Casino is owned by Rush Street Gaming and while the company has yet to announce their online poker plans when poker becomes available it’s likely that the online room will feed players into their live rooms and events. Mount Airy Casino With only nine total tables at the Mount Airy Casino and Resort located in the Pocono Mountains is one of the smaller places to play in PA. Of course, No Limit Hold’em is available but according to their website, Mount Airy also offers Mississippi Stud as an option. So, why keep an eye on the small card room of Mount Airy? Because their online poker partner is none other than the industry’s global leader PokerStars. It’s unlikely that Mount Airy has enough room to host something as extensive at the North American Poker Tour, one of the largest PokerStars festivals to take place inside the U.S. back in 2010/11. But the online giant may have ideas on how to expand their live footprint in PA and if they do, Mount Airy could be a big part of that. In addition to these rooms Pennsylvania has a number of other locations where grinders can find a good live game. The PA action is plentiful at the rooms of the Hollywood Casino at Penn National, Mohegan Sun Pocono, The Meadows Racetrack & Casino and the part-time room of Presque Isle Downs.
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